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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Role Of The Private School Board Executive Committee

HelloCherry Blossoms

Spring has finally arrived here in Vancouver. The cherry trees are in full bloom, lawn mowers are being pulled out of the garage, and our Vancouver Canucks Hockey Team finished first in the regular season and await their first round opponent next week. 
Buying/Selling Schools: As you may know, HEG works with clients to buy and sell Private K-12 Schools internationally and Language Schools and Career Colleges in Canada. HEG represents the sale of the following schools:
·      Group of Canadian-based Language Schools
·      Canadian-based Business Colleges
·      Prestigious K-12 US-based day/boarding high private school
·      Group of Beauty Schools in Ontario along with their popular spas
Please contact HEG by email or phone about these schools, if you would like HEG to represent the sale of your school(s) or you're seeking to buy a school.

Over the last few weeks I've read a number stories on the collapse of Teamworkprivate schools. It's shame as it doesn't have to be that way if a group has done it's homework to determine if there is market demand for their school at a sustainable fee level. One of the other detrimental factors I observe impacting school's is poor board leadership. Research indicates that school leadership - be it administration or governance - is aligned with school success. One of the key components is knowing how an effective board should function, which is valuable to new or established schools (be it K-12, post secondary, for-profit, or non-profit).  

Today, I want to share with you the role of your Board's Executive Committee and how it should function. Please read on to find out more about how you can maximize your board's performance.

To your success, 

Doug Halladay
Halladay Education Group

P.S. Don't forget to go to our secure Online Store to invest in our Strategic Planning or Start-A-School Toolkits.

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Where's HEG Working Right Now?
Many of you ask what is HEG is being approached to work on next. Here's an update:
  • Sale of Private High School in the western USA
  • Sale of Beauty School with three sites/spas in Ontario
  • Sale of Canadian-based Language Schools
  • Sale of Canadian-based Career Colleges  
  • Strategic Plan for K-7 Catholic Private School in British Columbia
  • Market Study and Business Plan for Private Non-Profit International High School in Texas
  • Formation of a new PreK-9 IB Private School in Malaysia
  • Formation of a new Private K-12 Canadian International K-12 School in Saudi Arabia  
  • Feasibility Study and Business Plan for a new Private Early Childhood Center and Gr. 7-12 Tribal Senior School in Alabama
If you're interested in our consulting services, and would like to discuss your needs further, please contact Doug Halladay by email  or call directly at 1-604-868-0002.  

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Role Of The Board Executive Committee

HEG has worked with many types of schools with distinctively differentCircle of hands educational programs, grades, accreditation, countries, profit and non-profit structure, new and old. Based on our experience and research, one of common elements of high performing schools is the quality of school leadership. More specifically, governance of the school.

One of the key committees of successful boards, and one that is misunderstood and underutilized, is the Executive Committee ("Ex Com").

Ex Com is a small group of designated trustees that functions for the Board between regular meetings.

However, it is not a mini version of the whole Board.

It is usually made up of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, one or two other trustees, and Head of School (by invitation). However, it may have a different membership based on your Board's makeup and availability. Typically, it is one-third the size of your Board. This allows the Chair to have a balanced and informed perspective, and can be called together under short notice (note: they should not have to travel a great distance).

Function of an Effective Executive Committee:
  • Meet quickly to provide advice, direction, and Board-level decisions in the context of emergencies;
  • Help shape a proposal to the full Board or committee;
  • Screen potential agenda items in advance of a Board meeting and determine if the issue can be dealt with by Ex Com;
  • Carry be directed by the Board to carry through with decisions that have been made in principle by the Board; and
  • Preparation for the Board Chair.

Do's and Don'ts of an Executive Committee:

Board members may resent an Ex Com if they're perceived as the 'in group' or present recommendations as faits acomplis. The last thing you want is for regular Board meetings to be perceived as lacking meaningful discussions or real decision making. Board members must feel that they're part of significant work and decision making.

The role of the Ex Com needs to be limited. They should not be capable of committing large amounts of capital without Board direction. They cannot terminate the employment of any staff member of change bylaws without Board authorization.

Minutes of the Ex Com don't need to list everything discussed, but they need to be clear on decisions taken on behalf of the Board, which should be circulated and incorporated in the Board's formal records.

At this point, you should refer to the charter or bylaws of your organization, since Ex Com should function within those boundaries and only take actions within those powers. In most cases a Board can even reverse the decisions made by Ex Com, but this should be avoided (since this is a vote on non-confidence).

Executive Committee Calendar:

A well organized Ex Com, as will all your Board Committees, will develop an annual calendar to organize their duties. For example:

  • Review the strategic plan and determine what goals will be implemented for the next academic year;
  • Set-up a process to review implementation of the current year's annual goals, administration's annual operational plan, and Board Committee reviews;
  • Work with the Committee on Trustees to counsel out unproductive trustees and the annual Board evaluation process.
  • Determine the Board agenda for the upcoming school year, using your strategic plan's annual goals to guide it;
  • Gather the Head's Annual Operational Plan.
  • This covers the strategic plan at the Board and operational levels, and appears as action items for your Board Committees;
  • Plan and implement a summer Trustee orientation and planning retreat with the Committee on Trustees;
  • Determine committee charges, leadership, and membership, with action items for each committee;
  • Develop and charge the Head Support and Evaluation Committee, which will link the Board's annual agenda planning goals with the annual administrative agenda and plan.
  • Oversee and monitor each committee based on their charges, agenda, and timetable for action items;
  • Collaborate with the Committee on Trustees to ensure that the Board has a strategic focus and deals with decisions first discussed and voted on at the committee level.
Early Spring:
  • Organize and lead the mid-year review of annual agendas (Board, administration, and committee);
  • Begin preparation for the review/modification of the strategic plan as part of an annual cycle.
Next Step

If you would find out more about how to improve your board's performance or would like to have board governance workshop, please contact Doug Halladay directly to find out more about our services and how we can help. You can set this up by sending an email to info@halladayeducationgroup.com or calling directly at 1-604-868-0002.

HEG Recommends
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Learn how to develop your own Plan with step-by-step instructions contained in a detailed Workbook & Manual, along with $500 worth of bonus CD's. It's all here to help you develop your own plan. Click here for more details.

Start Tlkt
Are you still struggling with starting a school? Experienced school leaders share how they started their school from the ground up. You'll also receive our bonus CD ($150 value) on developing your strategic plan. Click here for more details.

To your success,Doug Tie

Douglas Halladay
Halladay Education Group Inc.
P: 604.868.0002
F: 868.472.8737

E: info@halladayeducationgroup.com
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  1. must say that overall I am really impressed with this blog.It is easy to see that you are passionate about your writing. If only I had your writing ability I look forward to more updates.

  2. I love that you give so much information about how to keep a private school running! I have a good friend that works at a private school, which recently had to close because of lack of funding. After a year, they were able to reopen the school, and it was all because of a good school board. Hopefully they will keep running smoothly for years to come!